Awards celebrate county’s top nosh

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THE great tastes of the county will be celebrated in the fourth Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards.

And this year it promises to be bigger and better.

The awards, devised by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership, celebrate local produce and drink and recognise people involved in the industry.

Sponsors include Carlsberg UK, Booker, British Pepper & Spice, Whitco, the Evening Telegraph and the Northamptonshire Chronicle and Echo, and this year Beckworth Emporium, Explore Communications, Leatherhead Food Research and Whitworth have also signed up to back the awards. The 12 categories include new local product of the year, new local drink of the year, restaurant of the year, community pub of the year, chef of the year and local food hero.

Launching this year’s awards Rob Purdie, executive director of Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership, said: “We developed the awards because food and drink is of vital importance to the local economy – representing 18 per cent or £150m of overall visitor expenditure each year – and demonstrates strong potential for future growth.

“We are also committed to encouraging people to buy local, not least because this approach further strengthens the local economy and benefits our communities.”

One of the categories this year will be the Northamptonshire Jubilee Breakfast, being sponsored by Explore Communications.

Awards co-ordinator Rachel Mallows, of the Mallows Company, said: “We want the awards to encourage growth and innovation which is why we’ve brought in the categories of new local product and new local drink.

“I’m also really looking forward to the Northamptonshire Jubilee Breakfast category as we believe that food and festivities go hand in hand and it seemed the perfect way to celebrate the Queen’s 60 years on the throne.”

For more information on the food and drink awards visit www.letyourselfgrow.com/foodanddrinkawards or call Rachel Mallows on 01933 664437.